Seoul-mates in youth and ICT cooperation

ASEAN and the Republic of Korea should continue their commitment to nurture the relationship between their people, especially the youth, through various exchange programmes in order to deepen their ties, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said.

At the heart of their cooperation is the warm relationship shared by the people of Asean and Republic of Korea including the youth, His Majesty said in a titah yesterday at the First Session of the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan, Republic of Korea.

The trust and confidence that the youth have in one another is key to ensure the sustainability of their future work together, His Majesty added.

His Majesty said he would like to see the continuation of activities such as the Asean-Republic of Korea Youth Exchange Programmes, which would help the region to further promote greater understanding and mutual respect amongst their people.

His Majesty appreciated the continued support from all of Asean’s dialogue partners, including Republic of Korea, which has helped realise the Asean Community goals. His Majesty hoped that this partnership will continue to be deepened and strengthened as Asean looks beyond 2015.

His Majesty said that this year has been especially meaningful to Brunei Darussalam as it simultaneously celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Asean-Republic of Korea partnership and the 30th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Korea.

His Majesty is pleased with the longstanding bilateral ties that have now expanded to cover many areas, including energy, trade, ICT as well as people-to-people exchanges. This cooperation is further supported at the regional level through the Asean-Republic of Korea and Asean Plus Three frameworks.

His Majesty was also encouraged over the good progress in implementing the Asean-Republic of Korea Joint Declaration and hoped the officials will enhance their efforts to ensure its full implementation.

In this regard, His Majesty is pleased with the joint statement adopted by the meeting, which will help guide the future direction of the relations, particularly in terms of strengthening the region’s current collaboration in the area of youth and ICT.

His Majesty also noted that the Republic of Korea has established itself as a leader in the field of ICT. In the last four years, the Republic of Korea has been rated as the top country in the ICT Development Index.

“This is a remarkable achievement, which indicates the deep integration of ICT in the Republic of Korea’s society, and demonstrates how readily accessible the Internet is to the public, particularly through extensive usage of mobile communication.

“ICT is fast becoming the foundation for many commercial activities, and developing further knowledge and expertise in this field has the potential to bring much economic benefit to the future of the region,” his Majesty said.

Thus, His Majesty encouraged officials to continue their work, under the Asean-Republic of Korea ICT Partnership Project, to develop innovative and practical ways to utilise ICT to enhance the lives of the people.

His Majesty said that it is clear that Asean-Republic of Korea relations are poised to deepen and further strengthen, bringing much benefit to the people and the region.

His Majesty also extended his appreciation to the President of Republic of Korea for bringing Asean together at the meeting and to the President of Indonesia for Indonesia’s excellent work as coordinator of the Asean-Republic of Korea relations.

During the First Session, leaders discussed matters closely related to the theme of the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit this year – ‘Building Trust, Bringing Happiness’. The main agenda included issues on the realisation of the Asean Community by 2015 as well as the strategic direction for Asean Community post-2015 with the cooperation and support of the Republic of Korea as Asean’s strategic partner.

Leaders also discussed matters related to interconnectivity between Asean and Republic of Korea and matters that can enhance cooperation in the field of infrastructure development and technology.

His Majesty also attended the Second Session of the commemorative summit, the Special Exhibition on Public Governance held at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) and a luncheon held for leaders.

Upon arrival at the lobby of the convention centre, His Majesty was greeted by Choi Jong-moon, Secretary-General of the Preparatory Office for the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit 2014. His Majesty proceeded to the upper level of the convention centre where His Majesty was greeted by Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea.

His Majesty then joined other heads of state and government attending the Commemorative Summit for a group photo session before proceeding to the convention hall for the summit’s first session, which began with the opening statement from the President of the Republic of Korea, the chairperson of the session.

The President of the Republic of Korea then invited U Thein Sein, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to deliver his opening statement as the Chairman of Asean for the year 2014. This was followed by a statement by Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia as the Country Coordinator for Asean-Republic of Korea Relations.

During the First Session, His Majesty began the titah by thanking the president, the government and the people of the Republic of Korea for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation since their arrival in Busan.

His Majesty also offered his condolences to the Republic of Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines on the sinking of a Korean fishing boat near Russian waters; and to the people of the Republic of Philippines on the devastation brought by Typhoon Hagupit. - Borneo Bulletin (13 December 2014)